My OTA Experience

Have you ever been involved in something so amazing that it is hard to put your thoughts and feelings into words because you are worried that some small, but ridiculously important detail will be overlooked? That was OTA for me and Spark.

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OTA is a collaborative of creative catalysts and community changemakers that connects the social and creative capital of South Dakota, North Dakota and Minnesota. You can learn more by visiting the OTA website. OTA founder and curator, Hugh Weber, was kind enough to bring Spark on board as a production partner for this year's event, which means we were able to be a part of the fun printed collateral created for the event.

On March 15 the people of OTA converged on the Augustana College campus to take in a killer line-up of speakers. I'm not sure if I should refer to this group of fantastic individuals as speakers because they really were something far more exceptional. They didn't come to rattle off a few statistics or blandly sell a product or idea. They came to engage, entertain and inspire, all the while exceeding our expectations. Throughout the course of the day I was taken to lands near and far, provoked to think about abstract ideas and concrete solutions, challenged to live my life with more everything-that-is-awesome and less of the ordinary and expected.

Some of my favorite quotes from the day:

"Exceptional people can tell you why they are." -Ricardo Crespo of 20th Century Fox

"Do good work for good people." -Aaron Draplin of Draplin Design Co.

"You can't A/B test your way to a vision." -Karina van Schaardenburg of Foursquare

And pretty much everything that was said by Dave Brown of Holiday Matinee and MKG

Be sure to check out:

Pencils of Promise: What Adam Braun has accomplished since 2008 will astound you. The world needs more people like him who are willing to do what it takes to make a difference in the lives of children around the world.

Ferocious Quarterly: How could I not love what Nate Utesch has done to beautifully capture the talents of current artists? The power of print is alive and well in this publication.

Pre-Session Mailing

The first pieces we designed and printed were for a pre-session mailing to the speakers that they received two weeks before the event. The two pieces were wrapped in kraft paper, and tied with baker's twine and a note welcoming them to the OTA family.

Inside we had a card that asked the speakers to tell OTAns what they had  in store for them. The cards said "Hey OTAns, preapre to be ______________ on  March 15, 2013." Here are some examples of what was received. Fun,  right?

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The other piece in the mailing was an art print we designed of the OTA region  including a vintage map in tone-on-tone transparent white, custom  opaque red and black inks. We outlined the states with the speakers'  names and used the intersections language from the OTA manifesto to tie  it all together. Both pieces were printed on 29 pt. chipboard on the same press sheet on our Heidelberg KS Cylinder. 

Stay tuned for my next post about the OTA manifesto and class of 2013 prints and the other pieces!

-Valerie

Stay tuned for my next post about the OTA manifesto and class of 2013 prints and the other pieces!

-Valerie

A GOLDEN TWIST ON OUR ALYSSA DESIGN

Magnificent Milestones, one of our fabulous Chicago retailers, dreamed up this lovely, golden variation of our Alyssa suite. Blending our Sparkle Gold and our Bright White papers with our Tan and Transparent Gold inks created this warm, gilded suite. The Sparkle Opal paper used for the intricate laser wrap adds another dimension of warmth and elegance. Top it of with one of our jewels and it becomes a one-of-a-kind invitation fit for a sophisticated soiree!

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SPARK FEATURED IN MSW WINTER ISSUE

I know I am starting the year off right given this latest magazine feature for Spark. With all of the New Year’s resolutions I set each year, it is always at the top of my list to have our work covered in major publications. I think any stationer will agree with me that is a wonderful feeling to see something you’ve done shot beautifully for any magazine, let alone Martha Stewart Wedddings!

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I couldn’t be more excited to announce that our work is featured in the Martha Stewart Weddings Winter 2013 issue. If you check out page 418 in the All That Shimmers article, you will see a full suite of lovely, simple type done in a rose gold foil on soft white museum board in 2ply and 4ply. It is hard to discern in the photo, but the pieces also feature edge painting in a complementary color.

We can’t say enough good things about working with the team over at MSW, and their efforts truly shine through in each issue. This Winter 2013 issue is no exception. It is their largest issue to-date and is jam-packed with everything a couple could need for planning a wedding and just to be inspired about all that is possible for the wedding of their dreams.

This invite suite is available for purchase through any of our fine retailers located around the United States and internationally, as well as through Spark directly. Please contact a Spark representative today to find out how we can customize this suite for your big day!

Valerie

Creative Director at Spark

Happy Holidays!

All of us at Spark would like to take a moment and thank  everyone – clients, vendors, happy couples and letterpress enthusiasts –  for a successful 2012. We are truly lucky to do what we do each day and  feel very blessed. Thank you to those of you who worked with us for the  first time and to many of you who continue to come back with exciting  projects. As a small, family business, we value the relationships we  have with each of you.

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Last week, all of the Sparklers and their families gathered together in celebration. It was a wonderful time filled with great food (we can share some favorite recipes), laughter and goofy photos. The family members of the Spark were a little teary at times because we feel lucky to have such a great staff. When you have the right team in place, anything is possible, and that means that 2013 should be the best year yet for Spark!

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Happy holidays and cheers to a prosperous new year!

She Magazine: Spark Tablescape

This year we had the pleasure of creating a holiday tablescape for SHE, a local Sioux Falls women’s magazine. When trying to decide what theme to go with we thought it best to steer away from the traditional reds and greens and try something a little out of the box. One of our outspoken sparklers blurted out, “why not make it a frosty Christmas – we live in South Dakota!” We decided on blues, whites, and crystals/sparkles for our dinner tablescape. Putting our heads together and gathering our resources we collected anything in blue hues that we had around our houses, Christmas related or not.

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Alana, Spark's resident wedding consultant and avid dinner party hostess, had some tips about decorating to share. “When decorating for something, it’s important to use what you have. None of your guests will know that everything wasn’t purchased for that certain dinner party. Also, don't be afraid to mix and match styles and textures to add visual interest to your table."

To incorporate a little Spark flare we used our silver striped party papers: placecards, gift tags, and table signs. The final product was an inviting display good for a frosty Christmas party or a dinner party to ring in the new year.

Shop Small this Saturday at Spark!

Join us this Saturday, November 24th, as we sparkle in-store with a 20% discount on all products plus special clearance bins on paper, envelopes and more!

Enjoy cider and cookies while you SHOP SMALL this weekend!  Spark Stationery, 524 N. Main Ave, Ste 100.  Tri-State Creamery Building, 221-5997. 

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